The Hydrangeas…… provide a garden of delight.

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Tomorrow is August the 1st and here at one of the National Heritage Hydrangea Collection it will be an ‘Open Day’.   The Collection is open everyday during the season but tomorrow there will be guided walks and volunteers available to tell folk  about the collection, both for Hydrangea care in general and also historical background to this walled garden.

For the volunteers this year it will be one of mixed emotions.  Every years since the team started the restoration and establishment of the collection, they have spent hours  producing a spectacular display for visitors to enjoy.  This season they have had to work extra hard over the past few weeks trying their best to make the gardens look anything like what they would really like.  The winter and spring took its toll. Heavy rains,  a period of drought and a very late frost followed by high winds would have made life difficult in any year……  but add the CV19 factor, lockdown and  other restrictions and those dedicated volunteers were unable to take prompt and continual actions, to mitigate the problems.

So whilst the Collection may not be having one of its best years…it is still a very worthy display.  White blooms seem to have survived the best.  There are still many dead flower heads and even seed heads from last year, however hard the team worked they were never going to achieve several months work in just a few weeks. So full credit to all.

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The Collection can be visited at Darley Park, on the banks of the River Derwent in Derby.  The National Heritage Collection is open till September.  An approach area is open  with  both Hydrangeas and Herbaceous borders all year ….. and its all free.  🙂

I should add that today has been blistering hot….35c this pm.  Certainly had people heading for the shade.  Every shadow  was occupied 🙂   Thunder on the way.

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Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

31st July

(C) David Oakes 2020

Hydrangea’s Everywhere….. The National Collection

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We paid a visit to the National Collection here at Darley, Derby a few weeks ago….it was earlier than planned, we had heard that the collection had opened earlier this season due to the warm (and at times) damp weather. Indeed the many of the Hydrangea’s were looking large and blousy but as was to be expected many more had to rich full bloom.

Since that visit we have had a heatwave with record breaking high temperatures.  We have also had some sever rain storms, torrential downpours that have done much damage to many gardens.

I had promised to take you for a longer look. So it was with a little trepidation that we headed back to see just how well the Collection had survived…. as to be expected some blooms were showing signs of stress but for the most part as you will see there was plenty of colour and variety to satisfy.

 Nor is the collection complete…and extension has been planted in a lower part of the walled garden.

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Rough and ready but in a few years it will blend seamlessly with the rest

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2nd August

(C) David Oakes 2019

The Hydrangea Season is Here Again

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I guess we can say that summer is now well underway…the Hydrangea season is with us again.  The National Collection at Darley Abbey has just opened for the season…. many of the bushes have yet to reach full blossom, but for starters these are rather fine.

More to come in a week or so.

18th July

(C) David Oakes 2019

Seasonally Challenged in the Heat

 

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The National Hydrangea Collection, Derby 

It has been a scorcher so far this summer and many flowers are ahead of their season.  Here at the National Hydrangea Collection in the walled garden of Darley Abbey Park they opened the gates to the public several weeks earlier than usual.

As always the collection presents a wide menu of colours and varieties, big blousy heads rubbing shoulders with more delicate petals of others. The Collection has for the past 10 years been cared for by a team of dedicated volunteers.  They have restored what was a ‘lost’ collection to a wonderful display.

I think this year they have had there work has perhaps been particularly difficult. The record wet winter cannot have helped and whilst it was not the coldest the few cold snaps were rather deep.  As we know since the start of spring we have had rapidly increasing temperatures and virtually continuous sunshine.

It has had an impact. Whilst we benefit from an earlier display there have been some downsides.  There are more than a few spaces where plants have been lost. Overall the display is healthy but some do seem to be suffering from lack of water….. the grass between  the displays is testament to the drought.  Likewise some species have nearly finished there flowering cycle and other yet to start with many at that in-between stage.  Still a great display so here is a short virtual tour which I hope you will enjoy…

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24th July

(C) David Oakes 2018